Divine Consulting

Preparing Your Organization for the 2023 Grant Season

Grants are one of many income streams for nonprofits, and when individual donations are low, organizations may rely on grant funds to keep their programs going.

However, unlike donations or event sales (which come with their own set of stressors), grants take a particular type of preparation with specific requirements such as proof of nonprofit status, tax documents, financial statements, and impact data.

To name a few.

When applying for grants, it’s both about quantity and quality. Because these awards are so competitive, grant managers often submit multiple applications within a short time period. Additionally, even if an organization is selected as a recipient, the amount of time between the selection and that recipient receiving the grant funds (the award waiting period) can vary.

And while your organization is waiting for the award, programs still need funding, operations must continue, and the community you serve is still in need. So, how do you prepare for grant season, avoid burnout, and improve your chances of being selected as a recipient?

Here are a few tips:

Find Your Documents:

Gather official documents verifying your nonprofit status and at least three years’ financial statements. These statements should clearly show the organization’s financial status. These documents should also be saved as PDFs, then stored securely online.

Document Examples:

    • Tax Exempt Status Letter
    • Organization Budget
    • Cash Flow Statement
    • 990

Know What You Do

It sounds simple. After all, you work for the organization, right? So, it makes sense that you would know the purpose of the organization, its programs, mission, and vision plans. But is that information saved in a Word or pdf file that you can quickly find to submit with a grant application?

Deeply engaging with your work is one thing. Explaining it to others is another, and that’s why it’s helpful to have updated organizational and programmatic information readily available. Make sure you have an organization chart and list of your current board members, too. Funders often ask for this information.

Organize Your Online Storage:

You’ll need to organize your online documents. When it’s time to submit a grant application, you’ll want easy access to the most current versions of your documents. Searching through outdated folders and files is time better used toward submitting the grant.

Double Check Your Data:

Impact data is essential because it reflects the organization’s progress. While there’s more to nonprofit work than numbers, having solid statistics easily communicates to funders where their support (financial and otherwise) is going and if your organization can do the work you say you’ll do.

Meet with Your Grants Team:

Be sure to check in with the people who actually do the grant work. Before the new year kicks in, review the current year’s grant log. How many grants did you apply to? From which organizations? What’s their status, and which ones will you apply to again in 2023?

Also, be sure to check your grant readiness before applying for grant funding. These tips will help you prepare to apply for grants.

Have questions about your organization’s grant readiness, or need assistance with fund development? Contact us today for a consultation.

Monthly Highlights

Don’t have time to read the full post? Here’s the summary:

  1. Prepare for the 2023 grant season now.
  2. Meet with your grants team to review the 2022 grant year.
  3. Collect your official documents.
  4. Make sure your impact data is accurate.

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